I did not want to go to Lee College (now University). My brother, Jimmy, had been there in the late sixties. My sister, Shirley, was there when I graduated from high school in 1971. I had heard things that troubled me, specifically student life, but I also had an aversion to being in the “Headquarters City” for the Church of God. I also wanted to chart my own path and not be a tag-a-long to my sister, “he’s Shirley’s little brother.”
When God called me to Lee I dropped all of those objections and transferred. All was well until I arrived on campus. My dorm room was in Ellis Hall (the old dilapidated one). Most troubling was the cafeteria. Samford’s cafeteria was managed by Marriott. The food was quite good. At Lee I discovered meals less than desirable. I was quite miserable quite quick. On about my third day I left the cafeteria grumbling to God. I will never forget this event. As I stepped off the curb to walk across the street in front of the old music building I began to sing to myself, “Now let us have a little talk with Jesus, let us tell Him all about our troubles…” By the time I stepped up on the curb on the other side of the street I had peace and joy about being at Lee. From that moment forward I enjoyed my time there. I came in that experience to know there is peace in knowing you are in the will of God, if you are willing to accept it.
I cannot say I have lived in perfect peace all my life. There have been times of perfect despair, long, dark nights of the soul. One of the things that has sustained me has been confidence I am where I am because God has brought me here, wherever here is at the time. I refuse to make a major change in life without a strong sense it is the will of God, although I have been sorely tempted at times. On those occasions I vision myself stepping out into a black abyss (sometimes this image of an abyss has to be painted over what looks like a really great opportunity). Do I really want to go there without an assurance God will be with me? And so I stay where I am planted until I know He has said it is time to move. In this, I live with an underlying peace even when storms rage all through my life.
January 10, 2010